As alumni of the University of Huddersfield we were eager to help out their Students' Union in early 2019, when they approached us to assist with their 'Outreach Project'. The intention of this project was to make a statement on campus, let students know that the Students' Union is there for them and is a place to chat, unwind, find support and discuss any issues they might be having at University.
Huddersfield SU Outreach
The brief for this project leaned towards designing an inviting, welcoming space to sit with a friend or SU rep, grab a coffee and talk about University life. At the start of this project the SU was also big on its signature pink colour, a characteristic synonymous with the brand around campus. The SU wanted to design an installation - a semi-permanent fixture draped in their unique branding, but one that could be adapted to fit any available space on campus and worked within a predefined budget.
Through a series of idea generation, brainstorming, feedback and focus group sessions we developed a theme of 'outside in' - this would become the overarching direction of our proposals, giving students a space indoors that felt as if you were transported to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and a place to chill out, unwind and escape from the pressures of their course. Keen to include the aforementioned SU pink in their installation, our proposal eventually cantered around a vibrant park bench surrounded by artificial grass and foliage, which could be partnered with signage or advertising for upcoming SU events - this checked all the boxes of the brief - a space for students to relax and unwind, an adaptable concept that could be scaled for any available space in the University and clear SU branding with the opportunity to promote the latest goings-on.
Instead of the initial concept of using lifelike foliage, the eventual direction saw custom-made MDF trees instead where the SU could hang leaves written with words most commonly associated with their brand. This also allowed for a number of iterative designs to be proposed, switching out the solid backdrop in favour of a cheaper, easier-to-replace pull-up banner which could be swapped out seasonally to match outside conditions; snowy in winter, falling leaves in autumn, etc.
All of these concepts were created in MAXON Cinema 4D, allowing us to control every aspect of the environment down to finite detail on the models, photorealistic lighting, reflections and textures. This also gave our clients a realistic impression of the scale in these designs and let them see the concepts from every angle, allowing them to opt for different sizes of backdrop and decor based on a 1:1 digital model of our proposed installation.